Occam’s razor is not conclusive and it’s not science. It is not unscientific but I would say that it fits into the category of philosophy. In science you do not get two theories, take the facts you know, and then conclude based on the simplest theory. If you’re doing this, you need to do better experiments to determine the facts. Occam’s razor can be a useful heuristic to suggest what experiments should be done. Just like mathematical elegance, Occam’s razor suggests that something is on the right track but it is not decisive. To look back at the facts and then interpret it through Occam’s razor is just an exercise in hindsight bias.
Your analogy with Norse tribesfolk reminds me of the NRA slogan, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. There are many different levels of causation. The gun can be said to be the secondary cause of why someone died. The person pulling the trigger would be the primary cause. The secondary cause of thunder is nature but the first cause that brought things into existence and created the system is God. Nature cannot be its own cause.
The rest of what you wrote sounds like you’re pulling numbers out of your arse. The last sentence should be read in your best Norse tribesfolk accent.
What about other religions? Islam and Judaism come to mind, but there are also non-abrahamic religions that advocate faith, hope and love. Why is are you exclusively a Christian and not a Muslim, a Jew, a Buddhist or a Pagan? Why are you a Catholic instead of a Protestant? If you were born in China in the early 20th century, would you be a Catholic? If so, why? If not, why are you a Catholic here and now?
Because the Catholic Faith is true. But this is getting off topic.
A fully human life, in the natural sense of the term, has an average span of sixteen years. That’s the environment we were designed to live in- nasty, brutal, and full of misery. By the standards of a typical human tribe, the Holocaust would have been notable for killing such a remarkably small percentage of the population. Why on Earth would we want to follow that example?
In a lot of ways we don’t have a shared vocabulary. When I said fully human life I was not using this in the natural sense. Our understanding of humanity is different. I see man as made in the image of God. You see man as just another animal that is a product of evolutionary mechanisms. I guess the closest secular term that I can use to convey what I am saying is Maslow’s self actualization but transcendent.
Yes, for a very good reason- it does not work. If you stand in front of a truck, and you have faith that the truck will not run you over, and you hope that the truck will not run you over, your bones and vital organs will be sliced and diced and chopped and fried. The key factor in survival is not lack of hope, or lack of faith, but lack of doing stupid things such as standing in front of trucks.
Sure God is not going to change natural law just because we are putting him to the test. Twelve poor followers of Christ were able to convert the Roman empire. I have a hard time believing the virtue of hope was not involved. I could go into the lives of the saints for other examples but I wont.
This is not what we mean by “biased”. By “bias”, we mean bugs in the human brain which lead us to give wrong answers to simple questions of fact, such as “What is the probability of X?”. See http://www.acceleratingfuture.com/tom/?p=30.
You call the getting to the probability of nuclear war a simple question? Why doesn’t love lead to bugs in the human brain that leads us to wrong answers?
Eliezer argues against wishful thinking, which is not at all the same thing as hope.
Oh, and the idea that “faith, hope and love” are the same kind of thing—so much the same kind of thing that abandoning two of them would be likely to lead to abandoning the third—seems to me to have no support at all outside the First Letter to the Corinthians; why should Eliezer fear that abandoning faith and (what you rather bizarrely call) hope should lead to abandoning love?
Faith, hope and love are the Christian theological virtues. I would argue that they are at the core of what it is to live a fully human life. It looks like this website has rejected the theistic understanding of faith and hope. I don’t see what is stopping the rejection of love due to it being a strong biasing factor. I don’t know how you can love something without it making you biased towards it. To really be unbiased we should not love humanity and in so doing the logical conclusion is that man is insignificant. What we are does not matter in the scope of time and space. You may not like my conclusion but I don’t see how it does not follow from the atheistic premises that this website holds.
For hope to be useless, it requires the premise that God does not exist. If God exists, then the rational thing is to hope and not in just the improbable but the impossible.
As a Catholic, I am willing to abstain from food and sex at times. I even like to think that I would give my life for my faith. But you atheists are fanatical. Sacrificing hope is too hardcore. First you sacrifice faith, then hope, what’s next love?
Thanks for the link Davis but it does not address the issue that is brought up in the original post. The examples given in your link were “retrodictions”. To quote the original post...
“Thanks to hindsight bias, it’s also not enough to check how well your theory “predicts” facts you already know. You’ve got to predict for tomorrow, not yesterday. It’s the only way a messy human mind can be guaranteed of sending a pure forward message.”
I’m not arguing that evolution is pseudoscience. I’m just saying that evolution as an explanation could makes us think we understand more than we really do. Again I am no creationist, the data clearly does not fit the creationist explanation.
Could evolution be a fake explanation in that it doesn’t predict anything? I’m no creationist but what your explaining in regards to phlogiston seems to have a lot of similarity to evolution. Seems to me like no matter what the data is you can put the tag of evolution on it. Now I’m no expert on evolution so don’t flame me. Just a question on how evolution is different.